Former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shanta Kumar on Friday urged Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to ensure the early release of three men serving in the Merchant Navy who Nigerian pirates are believed to have abducted, PTI reported. All three are residents of Kangra district, which Kumar represents in Parliament.
The three have been identified as Sushil Kumar from Nagrota Surian town, Pankaj Kumar from Samloti village and Ajay Kumar from the hill station of Palampur. The family of Sushil Kumar received a call on March 12, when they were informed that the three had been taken hostage. The pirates have demanded a ransom of 11 million naira (Rs 19.88 lakh), Shanta Kumar said.
“My son told me that kidnappers are giving them a single meal a day,” Raghubir Singh, Sushil Kumar’s father, told The Tribune. “They have threatened to stop feeding them after three days.”
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has also asked the Centre to ensure the safety of the three men. The Ministry of External Affairs said it has taken up the matter with the Indian Embassy in Nigeria and is in touch with the families.